Archive for February 8th, 2018


The Barber stuffed chicken breast box.
I’ve been struggling to come back online as an artist. I’ve been doing a found-paper box-folding project since June 1, 2017: one box a day for a year, little things, until May 31, 2018. Then I shall assemble them into something. Not quite sure what yet, although I have ideas.

But the writing…fits and starts, can’t keep going on anything, things bubbling below the surface, but they won’t come out. I need to write. I long for it so hard, so deep. I think I need to force my own hand, so I’m going to try doing little things with that, too. I remember a writing teacher many long yarns ago who made us do five weeks (out of 20) of nothing but haiku, tanka, and cinquains before he’d let us do any other kind of writing. We chafed at that, some dropped the class, but for those of us who stuck with it this discipline turned into an amazingly freeing exercise. So…

Poems of 3 lines and 17 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables

Poems of 5 lines, 31 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables

An American form in imitation of the Japanese forms above. (Some cheat and title these poems, allowing themselves an extra line.)
Poems of 5 lines with iambic accents:
Line 1, 1 accent
Line 2, 2 accents
Line 3, 3 accents
Line 4, 4 accents
Line 5, 1 accent

Can I keep up the discipline? What discipline should I set myself? One a day? One a week?

I’ll try one a day, but that may be ambitious. One a week seems too little. So maybe I’ll compromise. I have to do at least 3 a week. If I do more, that’s great, but at least those three. So, here we go.

Edited to add: I started this on a Thursday, so my week runs Thursday to Thursday.

Day One – Tanka (with a thanks to mountoregano and a side thanks to Billy Collins)

The daffodils hold,
their green ranks standing silent.
The peach tree, chafing
with impatience, holds forth in
full spring, laughing pink blossoms.

Random quote of the day:

“The thing about love is that we come alive in bodies not our own.”

—Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.